NZC152-1

Ben Wheeler will make his BLACKCAPS return after being named in the T20 squad to face Pakistan in the three-match GJ Gardner Homes series.

Wheeler, who last played for the BLACKCAPS in February 2017, will be part of an inter-changeable 13-man squad, from which the selectors will seek to employ various combinations throughout the series.
Seth Rance will join the BLACKCAPS ODI squad for the final match in Wellington, with Trent Boult being rested until the second and third T20. Lockie Ferguson will miss the first T20, Tim Southee the second, while Ross Taylor has been selected for the first T20 only.

Players who have been named in the T20 squad and aren’t currently involved in the ODI series will be available to represent their Burger King Super Smash team in the final, but won’t be available should the final be postponed to the reserve day.

BLACKCAPS Twenty20 squad

Kane Williamson (c) – Northern Districts
*Trent Boult – Northern Districts (2nd & 3rd T20 only)
Tom Bruce – Central Districts
Colin de Grandhomme – Auckland
Lockie Ferguson – Auckland (2nd & 3rd T20 only)
Martin Guptill – Auckland
Anaru Kitchen – Otago
Colin Munro – Auckland
Glenn Phillips – Auckland
Seth Rance – Central Districts (will join squad for final ODI)
Mitchell Santner – Northern Districts
Ish Sodhi – Northern Districts
Tim Southee – Northern Districts (1st & 3rd T20 only)
Ross Taylor – Central Districts (1st T20 only)
Ben Wheeler – Central Districts

*Trent Boult will also miss the final ODI against Pakistan on Friday

BLACKCAPS Selector Gavin Larsen made special mention of Mark Chapman as being unfortunate not to be selected.

“We have three guys who were seriously considered for that specialist batsman spot at number five, however we’ve backed the incumbents who have performed so well of us in recent times,” said Larsen.

“Mark has been really impressive for Auckland, but with the form that Tom and Ross have been in we felt they deserved to continue getting opportunities.

“We’d like to see Mark continue to work on his bowling, which could open up other opportunities for him outside of just that number five spot.”

Larsen said it was exciting to have Wheeler back in the mix, bowling well, while adding there were a number of others who had pushed their case.

“Ben’s ability to swing the ball makes him a threatening bowler and his batting power and athleticism in the field compliments that nicely. It will be nice to see more of Ben and Seth while we manage the workloads of Tim and Trent.

“Tim Seifert, Anton Devcich, George Worker – we have seen in the domestic competition we have some real batting power waiting in the wings.”

The T20 series starts on 22 January at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.